Miyota Caliber 8215 Movement 3

Miyota Stuttering Seconds Hand Explained

Miyota Caliber 8215 Movement 3

The second hand on my Miyota powered watch isn’t smooth… why?

Is your automatic timepiece ticking like a quartz watch? Whether you call it stalling, stuttering, shuttering, hesitating, cascading or skipping, rest assured that the sweeping seconds hand on your Miyota movement (and even some older Swiss made movements) isn’t broken, it is normal.

While it may be alarming at first, and annoying to many collectors, the central sweeping seconds hand is prone to hesitation or stalling because of what is called an Indirect Drive system.

Note: Also keep in mind that if you are used to the Miyota caliber 9015 or modern Swiss automatic movements like the ETA 2824-2 or Sellita SW200-1, they beat at a higher rate (28,800 bph 4Hz) than the Miyota which beats at 21,600, so you may be more sensitive to the stalling seconds.

What causes this issue?

Let’s be clear, it’s not an issue with your watch, it’s the way the movement was designed. Watch movements that experience the stuttering central seconds hand use the third wheel in the gear train to indirectly drive a pinion which advances the seconds hand.

Back in the year 2000, Rob Berkavicius (Rob B on TZ) and Paul Delury (Gumby on TZ) wrote this article addressing the concern of the second hand momentarily stopping when the watch is bumped on the side. The team set out to explore why it happens on the caliber 8215, whether it is acceptable, and if it affected timekeeping. It’s recommended that you check out the entire post here, but the main idea is:

“The Miyota cal 8215 is an indirect sweep seconds design, very common in Swiss watches of even very high grades in the past. It allows for an elegantly simple design of the the watch, in this case the top plate encompasses both the time and winding trains. This view of the train, shows the sweep second pinion which passes through the center wheel, and is driven by the 3rd wheel.”

It is mostly noticeable when flicking the wrist or moving the watch side to side, and can appear to leap forward or stop for as long as 2 seconds.

Does the skipping second hand affect accuracy or timekeeping?

No. Simply check this answer for yourself by timing your watch. If you have a skipping second hand, is your watch still maintaining accuracy? If not, are you sure it’s not because your watch needs serviced?

More from the aforementioned article:

“Although this looks cosmetically unappealing, it makes no difference at all to the timekeeping of the watch. Increasing the tension of the brake spring must be done with great care, as too much tension will start to significantly affect the balance amplitude (from the extra friction in the train), and thus the timekeeping. And, this indeed is one of the reasons why “direct seconds” watch designs are now favored by watch manufacturers.”

Do all Miyota movements have this issue?

Again, the hesitating second hand is not really an issue. Not all Miyota movements experience this. For instance, the Miyota caliber 9015 has a Direct Drive seconds hand and does not have hesitating seconds.

The series of Miyota movements based on the 82XX caliber have the Indirect Drive system. Although not every collector will notice it or care about it, all movements with this setup will most likely experience the skipping seconds phenomenon, or it may become more visible in time. It can also depend on the dial and hands of the watch. For example, longer hands may show the stutter to be more dramatic, while less legible dials may make it more difficult to notice. Another factor is the tension in the brake spring… keep reading.

Is there a fix or solution?

Due to the design of the gear train in these movements, you cannot eliminate the hesitating seconds entirely, but your watch can potentially be adjusted and reduce the occurrence or obviousness of the seconds skipping a beat.

Technically speaking:

“…The brake spring, while effective at removing jitter, does not provide enough tension to hold the pinion steady under all conditions. So, when the watch is knocked, the pinion may be moved partially or all the way to the other side of the “slop”, and it may take a second or so for the movement to “catch up” again.”

Video of the brake spring being removed:

Some watch collectors attempt to adjust this spring DIY style. Just remember that while this may fix some of the stutter, it is not guaranteed, so try at your own risk. Not recommended!

Conclusion

Long story short, if what you’re actually seeing is the infamous Miyota “stuttering” seconds, then do not fear and do not fret! It’s ok and you can go back to enjoying your watch. Just be proud knowing that your timepiece can skip a few seconds and still be on time, not all movements can claim the same 😉

“The “Hesitating Second Hand”, observed on Invicta and other brands of watches is simply a characteristic of the “Indirect Seconds” type of movement design and in no way has any effect on the watch accuracy or timekeeping. If any watch company wanted to do something about it, the simplest, and really the only practical solution, would be to poise the second-hand. However, tens of millions of Indirect Seconds type watches of many different manufacture, in all grades from the cheapest pin pallet to high grade Swiss watches have been made in the past 50 years or so, and have been used with no problems at all. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how this characteristic could ever be observed during normal wear on the wrist, anyway. One can only assume it was claimed as a problem in an attempt to find fault in a watch which offers such excellent value for money as the Invictas do. So all you owners of Invictas, Omegas or any of the many, many other brands that use the same method for driving the second hand, there’s no need to worry about it!”

If you still can’t deal with it, your next option is to buy a watch with a direct drive seconds hand such as the caliber 9015 or a modern Swiss movement.

Who explained it better?

Which movements have Indirect Drive seconds?

Please tell us if your watch has stuttering seconds in the comments below…

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Paul Botha
Paul Botha
5 years ago

My Elysee Pilot runs a Miyota 8215, and the stutter is quite obvious when the long seconds hand runs against gravity/vertical.
The watch is running at +11.6 seconds per day, pretty good for this workhorse!
The stutter does not bother me in the least, and since I now understand it, it adds character!

Will Goldsberry
Will Goldsberry
5 years ago

Never even noticed it until now! Can I swap my 8215 for a smoother 9015??

Watch Addicted
Watch Addicted
5 years ago

I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but you need a spacer to make up for the difference in stem height. Also the dial feet are in different locations so you need to weld those back on in the right place. The date is only about 1 mm off so it might not be a problem, but I think it would be better with a dateless dial. Definitely possible.

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5 years ago

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Alex
Alex
5 years ago

I have a Vostok 2409.01 manual wind with the same behavior.
The watch runs great with the exception of the visual behavior of the second hand!
Extraordinary article! Thank you all for this!

marie
marie
5 years ago

I have movement Miyota 8215 in the watch. I do not realize the irregular run at all, the watch goes -5sec- + 5sec / day and it is great

Adonis
Adonis
4 years ago

Fascinating reading material. Thank you for the knowledge even though I do not have one of this movement in my watches, yet.

Jean VandeLanotte
Jean VandeLanotte
3 years ago
Reply to  calibercorner

The only stutterer in my case is me mysélf, and so what if my BocTok would be stuttering too ?! We, my BocTok and I, will stutter in duet, true as true is.

M. Bric
M. Bric
4 years ago

My B-UHR watches with Miyota 8215 are accurate + 3sec / day and stutter doesn’t bother me at dial 50mm

Michael Turner
Michael Turner
4 years ago

I have a speech stutter so this thread made me chuckle – goes to show, language is very important – especially as I promote stuttering in a positive light by presenting awareness training for hospital staff

Regards
MT

Mark
Mark
4 years ago

Thank you. Just slapped the watch side against my hand and saw the effect. I think it’s actually cool.

Gwen
Gwen
3 years ago

Hmm… the article says 28,800 bph = 4 Hz. Shouldn’t it be (28,000 bph) / (3600 s/h) = 8 Hz?

Anonomus
Anonomus
2 years ago
Reply to  Gwen

No, 4 Hz measures oscillation rate at the balance wheel. Watch beats twice per one balance wheel oscillation (when wheel moves in one direction, and when it moves in the other).

So, 4 Hz * 2 * 3600 = 28,800 bph.

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago

Does this effect the hack function at all? I have a Bulova A-15, using the Miyota 82S6, and the sweep second hand can be seen to jump or flicker from -2 to +5 seconds when setting the watch, rather than remaining stationary.

Bert Kanne
Bert Kanne
3 years ago

My Reverie Classic uses the day date Miyota 820A and it is the only movement I have with an occasional second hand stutter. It only seems to occur when the second hand is somewhere between the 2 and 4. It’s a minor quirk; the cut out rotor and the movement decoration give it an edge, imo.

Patrick Hervé
Patrick Hervé
1 year ago
Reply to  calibercorner

Hello there, my Miyota 8215 and Boctok 2416-B are both very reliable and in the -10 ~ + 7 seconds per day (=24 hours) range. The ‘stutter’ doesn’t affect their accuracy at all, none.

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

Interesting article. I always fix this on watches we sell by adjusting the brake as said. Does look very unappealing. To be honest I think the 8 series movements provide little value as the cost of servicing such a movement pretty much outweigh it’s price. The 9 series movements, although they run very well and are better built still don’t seem to be very service friendly.

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Mickey Johnson
Mickey Johnson
2 years ago

Is second-hand stutter normal if the watch is stationary, not moving? It is the 8215.

Patrick Hervé
Patrick Hervé
1 year ago
Reply to  Mickey Johnson

Well, Mickey, it is normal in this sense that the brake could be adjusted just a bit too loosely for average watch-factory-specs.

It is a question of adjusting this minor ‘problem’ or ‘living with it’, “as they (=people) say”

Wouter
Wouter
2 years ago

Finally a watch that fits life. Since when did every second, minute or hour feel equally long. It maybe reminiscent of us stuttering through life, experience a startle now and then.

usclassic
usclassic
2 years ago

My new Timex Navi XL has a large lume pip and long second hand. It stutters with gravity on the downside after 12 until 6 when the watch is vertical no stutter when horizontal. I find it interesting.

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Howard Lyttle
Howard Lyttle
2 years ago

Not good at all. Never mind it dosent affect the timekeeping. It drives me crazy and why i will never get a watch with a miyota 8215. Not had any issues with the other clone movements based on miyotas only the 8215. That movement needs throwing on the scrap heap as its well past its sell by date. If any other person has a stuttering second hand knock that watch straight back at the manufacturer and dont put up with a shoddy watch. Purchase one with an nh35, yn55 or even a PT5000 as All these are budget movements far… Read more »

Patrick Hervé
Patrick Hervé
1 year ago
Reply to  Howard Lyttle

@Howard BeLyttle, My NH35a caliber was ‘shot thrue’ within 8 months of my MeisterAnker classic rose gold watch, so don’t speak here of its ‘merits’, because my NH35a had none of them.

Der Dicke
Der Dicke
1 year ago
Reply to  Howard Lyttle

@Howard Lyttle:

My NH35 Seiko movement went to the scrap after only 18 months off the buying date.
So don’t you tell people to go sell or abandon their Miyota-driven watches, you twit.

K J Wiacek
K J Wiacek
4 months ago
Reply to  Howard Lyttle

They are actually worse then 8215 and sleds precise +_~30secs a day

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Patrick Hervé
Patrick Hervé
1 year ago

It’s not ‘an issue’, because it’s ‘a fact’, or even better ‘a feature’ of the movement(s) … Get a life, people!

Josh
Josh
1 year ago

Thank you for this very informative article, I have a watch using this movement and sometimes it stutters, more often than not it does not though.
The watch does keep accurate time, so no complaints.
Best regards

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Jean du Moulin
Jean du Moulin
1 year ago

Hello Watchfriends, I’m Jean du Moulin and own a Miyota-8215-driven Meister Anker watch; it comes from Pforzheim, Germany. It is a véry rose gold watch, entirely, bracelet and all; even the hour-, minute- and second-hand are a lighter rose gold. I’ve never perceived a “Miyota stutter”, simply because I wear my watch, not study it while it keeps time as an Ace for me. I only see my watch closely in intervals. The time I ‘study’ my watch is when I have to clean it and service it in intervals. Thén I can see a bit of a hesitant second-hand,… Read more »

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1 year ago

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sergio
sergio
1 year ago

So it is a FEATURE, not a bug. 🙂

Michael Dandurand
Michael Dandurand
11 months ago

My Boderry Voyager has the 8215 with the stuttering seconds hand. While being mildly annoying, it also runs at +5 spd steady as a rock. Makes the seconds hand a non issue.

Pete
Pete
10 months ago

Over the past 7 days, mine has kept +2/-4 seconds per day, pretty remarkable I think. Yes it stutters like a virgin on a first date but at least it’s keeping good time. I’m still a little tempted to adjust the break spring to minimize the stutter. Just a little nervous that I might muck it up completely. I love everything about the watch except for the stutter.

Mike Dandurand
Mike Dandurand
10 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Yeah I understand that doing that can lower amplitude and affect accuracy. Not worth it to me.

Shaun
Shaun
10 months ago

A great read and reassuring to know my (minus 8 diver) isn’t going back to USA, it stated an NH35 movement so when I first had the character stutter I almost fell off my chair. But I have to say it keeps great time and I get comments on the watch design all the time, so I am happy to wear the watch with or without its quirky movement

VB
VB
10 months ago

I for one actually like how the second hand jumps around on some of my watches. Especially after knowing it doesn’t affect accuracy. I think it gives the watch character!

ROBERT Y
ROBERT Y
5 months ago

I have a watch with 8N24. I see the secondhand stutters not always but sometimes when the secondhand passes between 2 and 4.
However, it always stutters when I wind up crown.
Is it also normal for this type of movement for the same reason? I mean because of indirect drive system.

Mike Harcourt
Mike Harcourt
5 months ago

Thank you for explaining the stuttering second hand on my Boderry Sea Turtle. I initially though it was faulty and reached out to the manufacturer. Your explanation has put my mind at rest and actually, I think it’s quite quirky now! As you say, it doesn’t affect timekeeping at all!

Dylan Mitchell
Dylan Mitchell
1 month ago

I recently picked up a watch with a Seagull clone of the Miyota 8215 and I noticed this stutter with the seconds hand. It makes sense now, since it has a large lume pip near the tip and a counter weight.

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